mojave calling

While Hashi put up the tent, K got the fire going

Our beautiful campsite

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail

Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris)

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Hedgehog cactus

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Banshee Canyon

It’s becoming an April tradition, the birthday camping trip. Last year we went to Los Padres National Forest. The year before to Death Valley. This time, we went to Mojave (Mo-hah-vee, for you Australians) National Preserve and camped at Hole-in-the-Wall.

Ah, desert. I love its muted tones and barren vistas and surprising splashes of colour. It whispers ancient secrets that I cannot quite understand, but that I want to slow down and strain to hear. Despite the dust, it leaves me feeling cleansed in some way. It is the opposite of frenetic and riotous, the opposite of Los Angeles. There is no hurrying to be done in the desert.

We had such a lovely time. Except for when the wind got fierce in the night, and our tent became a flapping flailing beast for hours on end, and The Guy resorted to sleeping in the car. THAT part wasn’t fun. But the rest, the hiking and exploring and cooking and staring at the fire. Yep, that was all perfect, and exactly right for a birthday trip. I’m a happy girl.

morro bay getaway

Morro Bay Morro Rock from the Elfin Forest

Natal bottlebrush (Greyia sutherlandii)

Twisted oak trunks in the Elfin Forest #elfinforest #morrobay #lososos

Azure Bush Germander (Teucrium frutican azureum)

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Just spent a couple of days exploring the back roads of the Central Coast with the Guy + dog. So much green. Wildflowers out early. Horses and bunnies and turkey vultures. We had a beer at Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault. We drove over the Santa Lucia Range from inland to Big Sur, and descended into an ocean of cloud. We visited the Leaning Pine Arboretum and discovered new plants. We earmarked lots of places for future exploration and adventures. I love the way every experience begets more; there is no end to the wonder of this world.

dan blocker to the pier

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About to be swamped

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My girlfriend A and I took a little break from beach hiking while she went and got married. We were back at it this past weekend, hiking from Dan Blocker Beach to Malibu Pier. The tide was rising, which was not ideal. But we didn’t want to wait another week so we went anyway. It meant a lot of rock scrambling, and some unsuccessful wave dodging.

Some folk who live beachside on the Malibu coast strongly discourage ‘trespassers’. But it’s our legal right to traverse the beach/rocks up to the high tide line, and even higher if it is unsafe closer to the water. Which it kinda was, in a few places.

We happened upon a baby sealion up on the rocks, who we hope was OK. No mama in sight, but it didn’t look injured, as far as we could tell. We clambered on, getting wet up to our crotches. How we laughed.

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.

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Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….

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… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …

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… and staring at flames.

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The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.

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After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

camping with the girl

Cooking breakfast #camping #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

It’s been nearly two years since L & I had a road trip. She’s been asking me to take her camping for a long time, so finally we went.

#redwoods #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, north of Santa Cruz, is spectacular in a wet, lush, massive kind of way, so different from the landscape in southern California. We stayed in a tent cabin, as a way of easing a first-time camper into the joys and discomforts of ‘roughing it’.

#bigbasinstatepark #stellersjay #intothewild #adventureswithlauren #365gratitude_hashimaree

It was cold, but not unbearable. L was a good sport about it.

#ferns #adventureswithlauren #intothewild #camping #bigbasinstatepark

#ferns #bigbasinstatepark #camping #intothewild #adventureswithlauren

And it was spectacularly beautiful.

#ferriswheel #santacruzboardwalk #adventureswithlauren #roadtrip

We spent time in Santa Cruz too, sampling the Boardwalk, and visiting with friends.

View from the top #ferriswheel #adventureswithlauren #santacruzboardwalk #roadtrip

It was fun to get away with L for a few days. She was 6 when I met her. She’s 16 now, and driving. Amazing. Am I really a decade older?

thenandnow

Yeah, I guess I am.

#redwoods #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

One thing is for sure: I’m not going to stop camping any time soon. Where to next?

home

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Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

my sister

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Sister and I spent a day in Sydney, wandering here and there, stopping to eat and enjoy the view. Just the two of us. It was perfect :-)

last cuddle

Last cuddle with #coreychannon. Thanks @tuisted for the lovely shot.

Goodbye Corey. You are so very very loved.

i swam

#beach #mainbeach #goldcoast

Soft sand. Tepid ocean. Of all the world’s beaches, this is the one I know best. It was so so SO good to inhale its salty goodness again.

tar creek

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We couldn’t go camping, but we spent the day far from other humans anyway. I’m filthy, exhausted, and very very happy. Oh, how I need this time in nature. I’m so very grateful to finally have a partner who wants to share in it.

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